Local Thrombolytic Therapy for Cere-brovascular Disease: Current Oregon Health Sciences University Experience (July 1991 through April 1995)

Stanley L. Barnwell, Gary M. Nesbit, Wayne M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: This report details experience with local intraarterial or intradural sinus thrombolytic therapy for cerebrovascular thromboembolic occlusions in 40 patients. Patients and Methods: Between July 1991 and April 1995, intracranial local thrombolytic therapy with urokinase was used to treat 40 patients with occlusive vascular disease. Twenty-six patients had acute occlusions of the central retinal artery, middle cerebral artery, basilar artery, or combined internal carotid and middle cerebral arteries. Three patients had embolic complications related to cerebral vascular embolization procedures. Five patients were undergoing intracranial angioplasty procedures for occlusive atheromatous disease. Six patients had dural sinus thrombosis. Results: Local intraarterial thrombolytic therapy for acute thromboembolic arterial occlusions resulted in excellent restoration of perfusion in 18 patients, partial restoration of flow in four patients, and no effect in five patients. Fourteen of these patients had excellent clinical outcomes, seven made moderate improvements, and six died. In the two patients with central retinal arterial occlusions, no angiographic or clinical response to thrombolytic therapy could be ascertained. There was no angiographic improvement response from thrombolytic therapy in five patients with primary intracranial atheromatous stenosis, and one patient may have had an embolic complication related to this therapy. Three of six patients with dural sinus thrombosis had clearing of the thrombus and an excellent clinical result. The remaining three with extensive dural thrombosis did not have clearing of the thrombus; one patient became blind, and two patients died. Among the 40 patients treated, significant cerebral hemorrhage occurred after therapy in four. Conclusion: Local thrombolytic therapy for thromboembolic occlusive cerebrovascular disease is useful in restoring perfusion of acutely occluded vessels. Further experience is needed to fully identify the most appropriate patients for therapy, dose of thrombolytic agent, timing and length of therapy, and risk factors for hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78S-82S
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6 PART 2
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral blood vessels, thrombosis
  • Thrombolysis
  • Urokinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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